Each year around 40 thousand children and adolescents disappear in Brazil. According to data from the Presidential Undersecretariat of Human Rights (SEDH), approximately 15% of these cases go unsolved.
The lack of an updated national registry centralizing all the occurrences makes the search process even more difficult. To discuss this and other issues, the 1st Encounter of the National Network for the Identification and Localization of Missing Children and Adolescents (ReDESAP), coordinated by the SEDH, got underway Wednesday, November 23, in Brasília.
Through Saturday, November 26, 36 governmental and non-governmental organizations and representatives of all the Brazilian states will be debating joint strategies to combat this problem.
According to Alexandre Reis, coordinator of the ReDESAP, the encounter will strengthen the integrated activities of the organs linked to the network.
"These organizations already use electronic means to communicate with one another. Through this contact, Brazil will have a consistent approach to deal with the problem of missing children and adolescents," Reis remarked.
The coordinator explained that one of the purposes of the event is to make the participants more aware of the need to update the national registry with data on the missing youngsters. The information will be available on the site www.desaparecidos.mj.gov.br.
"People think that it is enough to put a photo of the children on the Internet. The registry needs to be provided with precise and ample information by the states."
According to Reis, data such as physical characteristics, the date and place of the last sighting of the person, and a telephone number and address for contacts are examples of the kind of information that could help in the searches.
For the lawyer Ariel de Castro, coordinator of the National Human Rights Movement and member of the Brazilian Bar Association’s (OAB) Commission on Children and Adolescents, the joint and integrated action of all police agencies could help reduce the number of missing children cases that go unsolved.
"A unified data bank, making information available to all the concerned agencies, such as police forces and tutelary councils, is fundamental. This would expedite the search process a great deal," Castro affirmed. In his view, there is a "mismatch of data," which segments the job state-by-state.